Wyndham Vacation Resorts Inc. Sued Over ‘Worthless’ Timeshares
Timeshare giant failed to tell potential buyers that their timeshares have very ‘little if, any, resale value’
Federal judge in Delaware ruled in Wyndham Vacation Resorts Inc. case based on Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act (NDTPA).
Plaintiffs Steven and Elizabeth Kirchner and Robert Weston brought cases against Wyndham alleging that the timeshare giant failed to tell potential buyers that their timeshares have ‘little if, any, resale value.’
The Kirchners and Weston also claim that Wyndham timeshare owners are subject to hidden fees, booking availability issues and various other failures.
The plaintiffs say Wyndham neglected to explain that buyers would be unable to refinance their timeshare purchases and seek a lower rate than the ‘prohibitive’ Wyndham interest of 15.9%.
They additionally claim they were not informed that the annual fees could rise so rapidly, that the company overbooks/oversells units and that reservations must be made over one year in advance.
Kirchner and Weston also argue that Wyndham railroads customers into signing contracts quickly, without giving time to read the contractual fine print.
On 27th March 2023, Delaware District Judge Richard Andrews rejected claims based on the NDTPA, agreeing with Wyndham that timeshares cannot be considered goods or services regulated by this law.
However, he also expressed that was not too late to bring claims of fraudulent inducement by omission and violations of the Tennessee Timeshare Act against the company.
Judge Andrews ruled that these fraudulent inducement by omission claims fell within the 3-year statute of limitations, and that therefore the claims may continue.
The case plaintiffs began their legal action in 2020, citing that Wyndham ‘failed to disclose a series of problems and limitations’ with their timeshare contracts in order to facilitate sales.
Wyndham has around 925,000 members and generates an annual revenue of $5 billion operating around 25,000 units at 220 resorts according to the plaintiffs. They go on to say that the average cost of a Wyndham membership is around $21,000.
“If the Kirchner/Weston action is successful,” comments Andrew Cooper, CEO of European Consumer Claims (ECC), “it could potentially open the door to a significant volume of similar claims against Wyndham and other US based timeshare operators.
“Many timeshare owners in the US, as well as Europe and elsewhere are unhappy with the way they have been sold and disappointed with how their memberships have impacted their lives.
“We will be watching developments in this Wyndham case with interest.”